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  • YELLOW PAGES, internet etc.

    Ok I know this is going to be a flaming touchy subject but I just have to bring it up. I am so sick and tired of having FOUR different phone books for my small area and having to put advertisements in all of them. I'm just wondering what all of you have to do. How many phone books do you have in your area? How big of an area and are you covering the entire area or are you having to pay for advertisements for areas you don't cover?
    In the last year I've only had an ad in two books but now I'm finding I'm going to need to go in all four to survive, makes me sick!!!!!

    Did find a good tip for everyone, I was told about "Yelp.com" it's what people are using on their new Iphones etc. I didn't think it was anything until my brother in law told me to list my business there. Of course I was very skeptical, I looked up plumbers in my area and I wasn't listed. I listed my business last Friday for free and Got my first call this morning from someone using their Iphone to look up a plumber, it worked. I'm in no way pushing this service just passing it along, it's free.
    What else is out there? Any tips? What do you do for yellow pages, are you in all the books or just one?

  • #2
    Re: YELLOW PAGES, internet etc.

    As a consumer/customer, I usually go to the phone book first for calling a professional (furnace repair, plumber, etc). It is a good point you bring up, as I live in a rural area and have 4 phone books. I usually recycle 3 of them and keep only one. It would be a hard thing to choose which book to advertise in and which book to avoid.

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    • #3
      Re: YELLOW PAGES, internet etc.

      Yelp is more popular for Restaurant reviews than anything else. I'm not saying it couldn't work for contractors, but I found having a website with "google adwords" to be the best combination online to attract the most business.

      We have downsized all of our ads in the phone book, as people today (especially young people) don't pick up the phone book anymore. I'm sure your telephone book has an online division to help get your company seen there, and If it was me, I would focus my attention there. I can't even tell you the last time I even picked up an actual telephone book.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: YELLOW PAGES, internet etc.

        YP accounts for about 50-60% of our business. We live in a rural area serving about 100,000 people and yes, we too have 4 books. The sad part is, the one that I personally hate because I think it's worthless is the most expensive, and I've talked to people who like that book and use it over the others. We advertise in all of them and it is very, very costly.

        I have found that in YP as well as other forms of advertising the content of the ad does as much or more than the size. We did and experiment, kept our ad spaces the same in all books, same headings, etc., but changed the content of the ads. We added more color, a very bright large banner at the top of each ad that connects the customer with our services (Sewer Problems?), and blew up the photo's and graphics. Our call volume went WAY up this year.

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        • #5
          Re: YELLOW PAGES, internet etc.

          Ironranger, What part of the range are you in/ i am long retired, but I often get asked for different trades that I recommend. Who knows, might be able to send a few leads.
          Jim

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          • #6
            Re: YELLOW PAGES, internet etc.

            I use a sandwich Board, flip flops, and nothing else!. Very few customers, But interesting as Hell.
            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: YELLOW PAGES, internet etc.

              Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
              I use a sandwich Board, flip flops, and nothing else!. Very few customers, But interesting as Hell.
              And not even close to as interesting as you.
              Flip Flops?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: YELLOW PAGES, internet etc.

                I'm meeting with the "Yellow Book" guy on Thursday, it's our largest book but covers such a large area and a lot of it I don't service because of the distance. I'm not in the book right now but plan on placing some kind of ad. I'll go for a smaller ad with more color etc most likely. Also the phone number deal is a problem. We have so many smaller towns around here with different numbers and I don't have an 800 number. I'm thinking about just using the cell phone number in this book and using the old saying "speak directly to a plumber". Anyone ever tried this?

                Regarding the internet. I had a website at one time and it never generated a single call. I think more people are using their phones now so that new service I signed up for should work, it already brought in a good call. When I did my own search for my area it brought up all kinds of business's, not just restaurants. Contractors, electricians, plumbers, landscapers, auto shops etc.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: YELLOW PAGES, internet etc.

                  Originally posted by ironranger View Post
                  I'm meeting with the "Yellow Book" guy on Thursday, it's our largest book but covers such a large area and a lot of it I don't service because of the distance. I'm not in the book right now but plan on placing some kind of ad. I'll go for a smaller ad with more color etc most likely. Also the phone number deal is a problem. We have so many smaller towns around here with different numbers and I don't have an 800 number. I'm thinking about just using the cell phone number in this book and using the old saying "speak directly to a plumber". Anyone ever tried this?

                  Regarding the internet. I had a website at one time and it never generated a single call. I think more people are using their phones now so that new service I signed up for should work, it already brought in a good call. When I did my own search for my area it brought up all kinds of business's, not just restaurants. Contractors, electricians, plumbers, landscapers, auto shops etc.
                  I think cell and speak directley to a plumber ,is brilliant !
                  I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: YELLOW PAGES, internet etc.

                    Originally posted by ironranger View Post
                    Regarding the internet. I had a website at one time and it never generated a single call. I think more people are using their phones now so that new service I signed up for should work, it already brought in a good call. When I did my own search for my area it brought up all kinds of business's, not just restaurants. Contractors, electricians, plumbers, landscapers, auto shops etc.
                    Having a website is one thing, and having a website that can be found on the internet by customers is a different story. People moving to your area, or already living in your area, will never know who you are if they can't find your website. If the website you had was up and running, and someone googled "your town + the word Plumber" and you didn't show up, that's not the fault of the website. If someone made your website, they should of explained to you about "Key words" when people use google. If you made the website yourself, then it easily explains why you got no traffic because you simply didn't know how google works.

                    I average 115-150 hits a month on my website, and I can see exactly where those hits generate from. I can also see the stats regarding my website to help me determine different strategies to attract more volume. All this is done through Google Analytics, and the guy who made my website keeps up with all of this stuff for me.

                    I'm willing to bet more people will google "a town + Plumber" than logging onto Yelp and looking specifically for a Plumber. Only the hardcore Yelp people will look on yelp for all of their needs, but what about the rest of the people who don't use it or never even heard of it?

                    One day you should give your website another try.
                    Last edited by Flux; 10-18-2011, 10:02 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: YELLOW PAGES, internet etc.

                      Originally posted by ironranger View Post
                      Ok I know this is going to be a flaming touchy subject but I just have to bring it up. I am so sick and tired of having FOUR different phone books for my small area and having to put advertisements in all of them. I'm just wondering what all of you have to do. How many phone books do you have in your area? How big of an area and are you covering the entire area or are you having to pay for advertisements for areas you don't cover?
                      In the last year I've only had an ad in two books but now I'm finding I'm going to need to go in all four to survive, makes me sick!!!!!

                      Did find a good tip for everyone, I was told about "Yelp.com" it's what people are using on their new Iphones etc. I didn't think it was anything until my brother in law told me to list my business there. Of course I was very skeptical, I looked up plumbers in my area and I wasn't listed. I listed my business last Friday for free and Got my first call this morning from someone using their Iphone to look up a plumber, it worked. I'm in no way pushing this service just passing it along, it's free.
                      What else is out there? Any tips? What do you do for yellow pages, are you in all the books or just one?
                      What about running an ad in a local daily or weekly paper instead? This way if the ad doesn't work you can cancel it and you won't have to pay anymore. If the yellow page ad doesn't work you're stuck paying for the rest of a year. (or give up your phone.)

                      Ever think about moving down to the Twin Cities? I live on referrals, zero advertising. No yellow pages.
                      Time flies like an arrow.

                      Fruit flies like a banana.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: YELLOW PAGES, internet etc.

                        Originally posted by geno gardner View Post
                        What about running an ad in a local daily or weekly paper instead? This way if the ad doesn't work you can cancel it and you won't have to pay anymore. If the yellow page ad doesn't work you're stuck paying for the rest of a year. (or give up your phone.)

                        Ever think about moving down to the Twin Cities? I live on referrals, zero advertising. No yellow pages.

                        I have nothing against the Cities but would never move there. Every weekend I see all you guys piling up Hwy. 53 to get here to play in my backyard, well I'm already here and wouldn't trade it for anything. ;-)
                        I admit business has slowed up here in the last year but I'll do ok. For the last 8 years I haven't even had an ad in any yellow page books. I've had an ad in the local shopper paper, church bulletin, and worked off word of mouth mostly.
                        So this year I put my first ad in one book that just came out, the second book comes out next month and I meet with the third book salesman this Thursday. I also have a call into the 4th book. I'm not doing huge ads, just quarter pagers and up here that's pretty big compared to what's in the book already, I think it will make a big difference. Maybe even get too busy? I just decided to go balls to the wall because I'm just tired of missing out on what some of the others are getting with their ads, and if I can expand the business by doing so then great.
                        Also got a second call tonight from the yelp advertising. Can't beat free advertising.

                        Thanks for all the advice from everyone, it's nice being able to bounce ideas off other plumbers.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: YELLOW PAGES, internet etc.

                          Screw yellow pages. With smart phones so prevalent a lot of people don't use one anymore. I sure don't. I am all internet (google ad words, SEO, angie's list, craig's list, etc) and radio ads for branding. Newspapers are crap too. Internet is the future YP are dead. Save your money and invest it in SEO and adwords. Nice thing about Ad Words campaigns is your ad displays all over the place (if you so choose) not just one search results. You are also only paying if someone clicks on your ad vs. a yp ad that someone may or not see depending on competition and placement.
                          Ray

                          “Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think.”— Francisco d'Anconia
                          Atlas Shrugged (Part 2, Chapter 2, Page 411)

                          www.mauiplumbinginc.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: YELLOW PAGES, internet etc.

                            hey geno gardener, you stay busy on referals in the twin cities? Whats your hourly charge? Ive found the only referal rich folks are so inexpensive that they would make more money being employed by someone. Have you found this to be true? As for advertising... Google is the way to go. Ive spent hundreds of thousands determining cost per phone call ratios for variouse marketing mediums in MN. Call tracker numbers, computerized area tracking etc.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: YELLOW PAGES, internet etc.

                              Originally posted by ironranger View Post
                              I have nothing against the Cities but would never move there. Every weekend I see all you guys piling up Hwy. 53 to get here to play in my backyard, well I'm already here and wouldn't trade it for anything. ;-).
                              I don't think I've ever been on Highway 53. I'm not one of the lemmings who head up North too often though. Every few years I'll take a ride along the North shore. My last trip was up to Thunder Bay in January about five years ago. I wanted to see Canada in the winter. It reminded me of Minnesota so there's no sense going back.
                              Time flies like an arrow.

                              Fruit flies like a banana.

                              Comment

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